Pink blossom at start of May

May! Queen of blossoms

May! Queen of blossoms, / And fulfilling flowers, / With what pretty music / Shall we charm the hours?  Lord Edward Thurlow

The soil is warming up as the days lengthen and the sun makes more regular appearances. This month is the busiest; hardening off seedlings sown earlier indoors whilst the ground is ready for sowing hardier types in situ outside.

Indoors sow courgettes, dwarf and climbing French beans, leaf beet, chard, beetroot, lettuce, basil, winter brassicas (brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, purple sprouting broccoli etc), salad onions, leeks, winter squash and cucumbers, in preparation for planting out when big enough to handle.

Sow cucurbits such as courgettes, squash, cucumbers singly, one seed in a 7cm pot and keep in a light frost-free place. Once you’re confident the last frost has passed, start hardening off ready to plant outside in June. Begin with cucumbers and melons, then courgettes, marrows, squash and pumpkins.

Outdoors, depending on your location and soil type, sow carrots and parsnips, climbing and dwarf French beans. Start successional sowings of beetroots, carrots, lettuce, peas, spinach, broad beans and radishes. Once these are established, sow another row or patch or container full and so on each month so as you pull your tasty crops then the next plants are already growing and maturing.

Outdoors sow French marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnias for flowers this summer. For flowers next spring sow biennials such as wallflowers, foxgloves, evening primrose and Verbascum.


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